WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate is expected to deal with the articles of impeachment against U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this week and U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) says the Senate should act on a bipartisan basis and swiftly vote to dispose these meritless charges due to the complete lack of evidence and the fact that such a precedent would increase further rancor in Congress.

House Republicans failed to impeach Secretary Mayorkas in their first attempt on February 6th.  Sensing they had only hours before Democrats picked up another seat in the special election to replace disgraced former-Representative George Santos (R-NY), GOP leaders jammed the vote through on its second attempt by a vote of 214-213 on February 13th

The Cuban-born son of a Cuban father and Romanian mother – whose family fled the Holocaust – Alejandro Mayorkas and his family came to the U.S. in 1960 as refugees.  He previously served as a U.S. attorney, as the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and as the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security.  His nomination to lead DHS was endorsed by former DHS secretaries Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, who both served at DHS under George W. Bush.

Once the House transmits the articles of impeachment to the Senate, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) indicated that the Senate will consider them in accordance with Senate rules.  In all impeachment trials, except for the President or Vice President, the Senate’s President Pro Tempore, currently Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), presides, and all other senators take an oath as jurors. 

When the Senate is in session as a court of impeachment, it must set aside all other legislative business.  Two-thirds of the Senate must vote to convict, but a simple majority could vote to dispose of the case.  This would be the first impeachment trial of a Cabinet member since 1876.

Senator Reed is backing a swift, bipartisan rejection of these charges.

“This unjustified impeachment is a partisan hit-job and an abuse of Congress’s Constitutional powers.  The way it was carried out demeans the entire institution.  The Senate should reject these trumped-up articles of impeachment on a bipartisan basis and protect the standard of true high crimes and misdemeanors,” said Senator Reed.  “House Republicans waited nearly two months after voting to impeach Secretary Mayorkas to seek a trial in the Senate.  And during that time they actively blocked bipartisan border security fixes.”

The unprecedented and unjustified impeachment of Secretary Mayorkas has been widely denounced across the political spectrum.

Recently departed-Representative Ken Buck (R-CO), who was one of a handful of House Republicans to vote against impeachment, stated: “I prosecuted for 25 years. I know what a high crime and misdemeanor are and I know that this doesn’t qualify. … This is a terrible impeachment. It sets a terrible precedent. … We’ve got to stop this in this body, or we are going to lose our credibility with the– further lose our credibility with the American public.”

Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who served in the cabinet of George W. Bush put it bluntly: “I can say with confidence that, for all the investigating that the House Committee on Homeland Security has done, they have failed to put forth evidence that meets the bar.”  Chertoff’s op-ed noted: “Despite our different parties, I know Mr. Mayorkas to be fair and honest — dedicated to the safety and security of the U.S. He has represented DHS to the country and to both parties in Congress with integrity.”

Additionally, over the last few months several Senate Republicans have cast serious doubt on the House Republican impeachment charade.  Several Senate Republicans have spoken out against the misuse of ‘snap impeachments’ or declared the Mayorkas vote a ‘waste of time.’ Notable comments by Senate Republicans include:

Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) called Mayorkas’ impeachment the worst, dumbest exercise and use of time.”

Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) stated that House Republicans were “targeting a member of the administration without doing their homework to find precisely why he should be impeached.”

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) declared Mayorkas impeachment by House Republicans “a detour from the important work that’s going on.”

Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) said in January that impeachment “is never the answer just to disagreements on policy.”

Senator James Lankford (R-OK), who negotiated the bipartisan border security bill told reporters that he expects Mayorkas’ impeachment will fail in the Senate: “If I could use the House term, it’ll be dead on arrival when it comes over.”